Not to be a broken record, but whenever I sew something from a knit, I talk about how knits scare me. They're slippery and stretchy and unpredictable, and for the most part, I avoid them. But paging through pattern books, I am always drawn to a few designs for knits, and I promise myself I will keep trying until I get more comfortable and can sew knits with impunity! I've also been wanting more printed tops, so when I saw this fabric, I grabbed some and went looking for an easy tee shirt pattern. Practice!
I settled on New Look 6856. It looked extremely easy (no sleeves to set in!), three pattern pieces, and I like a boatneck. First things first: What stitch do I use? My mom always says to use a shallow zigzag. I've done so successfully in the past, but when I started to read through the directions, I noticed a line about "stretch stitches built into many conventional machines." Hmm. Might I have a strech stitch and not even realize it?
Turns out I have a jersey stitch. I tried it on a scrap of my fabric and liked how it behaved, so that's what I used for constructing the tee. I also read about overlock seams, but that requires a foot I don't have yet.
For the most part, sewing the tee was a cinch. The side seams and the hems took about ten minutes. The neck, though, that gave me trouble. I understand the concept--you have to stretch the neck band without stretching the body of the shirt--but I haven't mastered the skill. After much ado, I finally managed to do a respectable job. The back isn't as smooth as I'd like, but it will do.
I don't think the top turned out to have as much of a boatneck as I first thought it would be. I checked photos of other finished tees on Pattern Review and had to laugh, because no two necklines look the same! I think there was some improvising going on!